Competing against the Ford Fiesta (currently the UK’s best-selling car), the Peugeot 208, the Vauxhall Corsa and the MINI 5 door is no mean feat, but the new Mazda2 2015 comes up trumps! Officially named Car of the Year at this year’s Car Dealer Power Awards, this distinctive sporty supermini boasts chiselled good looks and a choice of SKYACTIV engines, appealing to commuters, couples and even small families looking for a sporty yet reliable vehicle. With four models now available with the motability scheme, it looks like this could be an extremely popular supermini for 2015. Let’s take a look at everything Mazda’s fourth-generation supermini has to offer…
First impressions are everything, and if you’re thinking the Mazda2 looks familiar, that’s because it bears an uncanny resemblance to the Mazda3 (only smaller). With its chrome ‘wing design’ insert on the trapezoidal grille, swooping roofline and bold curves, distinctive styling ensures this supermini stands out, even if the rear is a little heavy for our tastes.
Available in three trim options, the SE, SE-L and Sport, all models come with a tailgate spoiler and body-coloured mirrors as standard whilst the top-spec Sport model boasts LED daytime running lights, 16-inch wheels and colour-coded grille insert. Our pick would be the SE-L with front foglights and 15-inch alloys.
The new Mazda2 has bags of character, yet a pleasingly minimalist interior. It’s a slick little car, with clearly labelled dash controls for heating and ventilation, although a lack of soft-touch materials and cheap looking plastics on top of the dash do detract from the high-end feel.
If tech is your bag, Mazda’s MZD-Connect infotainment system won’t disappoint, keeping you entertained and on the optimum route to your destination thanks to the 7-inch touchscreen with rotary wheel controls. It’s a breeze to navigate through the menus, allowing easy access to the sat-nav, advanced audio entertainment system with DAB radio, and trip computer with excellent smartphone connectivity. Double USB sockets and SD card readers located by the gearbox ensure you’re always connected.
The new Mazda2 easily accommodates four adults, five at a squeeze, and because it’s only available as a five-door model, the rear doors allow for easy access – it’s definitely a practical supermini if not the roomiest on the market. There’s plenty of space for road trips with friends and family and storage space is decent too. The boot provides 280-litres of space or 950-litres with the rear seats folded flat – although, as with most superminis, you’ll find you have to lug bags over the load lip, so pack light! A spacious glove box and door pockets for bottles add some extra storage space to the minimalist interior.
With its cockpit-style interior creating a sense of oneness with the car, the Mazda2 is definitely built for driver enjoyment, thanks to ergonomic displays and controls. An adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel, wider centre console, increased front shoulder room and improved pedal layout all make for an extremely comfortable drive, whether you’re regularly commuting to work or on a long business trip.
On the road
Mazda has focused on low weight with the Mazda2 (it weights 1050kg), which benefits handling, performance and ride, providing a surprisingly nippy performance. Two all-new engines are on offer, the 1.5 SKYACTIV-G with a choice of six-speed manual or auto gears and 74bhp, 89bhp or 113bhp and the 1.5 SKYACTIV-D with 104bhp and manual gearbox. This little diesel provides decent performance, but we’re not sure the extra cost can be justified.
The 1.5 SKYACTIV-G returns fuel economy of 60.1mpg with CO2 emissions of 110g/km, although we’d opt for what’s predicted to be the most popular model: the 89bgp with 62.7mpg and 105g/km with the five-speed manual gearbox (or 58.8mpg and 112g/km with the six-speed auto). If the environment is your main concern, the cleanest model has to be the 104bhp 1.5 SKYACTIV-D with fuel economy of 83.1mpg and emissions of 89g/km, but you’ll pay more for these eco-friendly credentials.
Cruising is peaceful both at lower speeds and on the motorway although the petrol engines can be noisy when pushed hard – both the 74bhp and 89bhp cruise well once up to speed. Gear changes feel sharp and plump tyres and comfortable suspension absorb potholes and bumps on urban and country roads. As you’d expect, if you’re driving the model with 16-inch wheels you can enjoy a ‘sportier’ ride where you may feel more bumps. We think the Mazda2 is an excellent choice for long distance journeys as well as shorter urban commutes.
Mazda’s reputation for durability is taking no knocks with this supermini and despite the Mazda2 being a new model, many of its electrical and mechanical components have been used in Mazda’s other cars. The Mazda2 received a four-star EURO NCAP crash test rating, just missing out on the full five stars due to the lack of autonomous emergency braking included as standard (you’ll need to upgrade to the Sport model for this.)
With six airbags on all models and lane departure warning and speed limiter included with the SE-L (our model of choice), safety is definitely a priority with this little car. Opt for the top-of-the-range 113bhp Sport Nav if you want the optional £400 Safety Pack with cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring.
Practical, sporty, comfortable and fun to drive, the new Mazda2 2015 is perfect for commuters, couples, young families and motability customers looking for a supermini that doesn’t compromise on space or style.
With a list price from £11,995, the new Mazda2 is going to appeal to both new and experienced drivers alike and this stylish supermini is definitely a contender for the Ford Fiesta’s bestseller crown.
For more information on the new Mazda2 2015, or any of our other new cars, why not get in touch with your local Perrys dealership today?